Many service members are voluntarily returning to Iraq as civilian contractors. They bring a wealth of experience for current operations and relieving the troops of jobs that allow the military to concentrate on fighting the war.
Meet Jeannine Ward. Jeannine spent a year in Iraq in 2004, and has returned with KBR - Kellogg, Brown and Root, to do essentially the same job, but in civilian clothes.
"I know this isn't a place where you want to go vacation, but I like the camaraderie you get out here," she said. "I'm comfortable here."
After ten years as an active duty soldier, serving eight months in Bosnia, seven months in Kosovo, a year in Korea and a year in Kuwait/Iraq, she joined the Utah National Guard, but is currently on a year leave to be in Iraq.
During her first deployment, Jeannine was a mechanic foreman, working on everything from engine repair and transmission replacements on humvees to fixing engineering equipment. She was also the manager of the hazardous materials for her battalion, and drove wreckers from Kuwait to LSA Anaconda.
She is currently working at Camp Adder in Southern Iraq supporting a mechanic shop run by the 588th Maintenance Company.
Ward says she feels more comfortable working with soldiers than in the civilian sector, and she knows military vehicles inside and out.
Thank you, Jeannine, for the service you are providing to our country and all of your service in the past and in the future. You are truly an inspiration.